Technically, though for all intents and purposes it was a rehearsal. (At the theatre itself, not at the director's house, as originally planned.)
Today I joined quite a fair number of cast members for an unofficial rehearsal time. But much was accomplished.
Mainly, I got to talk to "Romeo", and get to know him a bit better. We ran our scene once for the director, and talked about a few things, before she sent us off on our own to delve more into the scene. Amidst the surprisingly loud traffic of small Shepherdstown, Romeo and I discussed the nature of the relationship between our respective characters.
I pointed out to him my Episode One Obi-Wan analogy, as previously mentioned here on the blog. He could see that as working quite well. He, as I did, saw the relationship as a mentor/younger person sort of situation, but one that is almost a matter of two peers. As in the Friar is probably wiser, more well read, and overall more experienced in life than is Romeo, but is still someone to whom Romeo can relate without a lot of fanfare. Romeo being a near-equal. I can see this.
We also discussed how Romeo is instantly honest with the Friar. Uncharacteristically direct with him, whereas when talking to others, even Juliet, Romeo has a tendency to beat around the bush, as it were. An astute observation from my scene partner.
We then ran the scene a few times informally. (Exercising our projection skills as traffic roared nearby.) I went off book for the scene with him...just to make sure I could do it. I have it down well now.
The two of us went back in, and shared with the director some of the ideas we had. (She approved of the Obi-Wan approach. More so than I expected, as she doesn't necessary think he has to be totally Christian, though I think I will play him as such...but certainly a Christian Mystic.)
It was then that the director introduced a quite fun concept to the scene between Romeo and the Friar which I dare not describe here, in fear if spoiling it for those who may come to see it. I will eventually, but for now, I will say it has the potential to be quite fun.
We ran the scene, (I being off book..almost) much to the enjoyment of the director, and the other cast members present. It is always refreshing to feel life being breathed into a scene after looking at it just one paper by ones self for so long. I added a small head-slap to Romeo at the end of the scene...something I had seen in my mind's eye ever since I first started reading the scene, and which, I am happy to say, the director liked. It stays.
Another aspect of this production that differs from the original is that I, as the Friar, will be present in the scene wherein Romeo meet Juliet for the first time. (A party at the Capulet's, for those of you rusty on your Shakespeare.) I won't say anything, but all the characters will be on stage at one time for that scene, and the director wants each of us to be playing out our own inner stories. (Something I have always been a huge fan of in such scenes.) It is early yet, but when asked, I mentioned that the Friar, being spiritual, tends to more easily find God in the faces of His people, and hence is absorbing both the joy of the event as it connects to the joy of Heaven, but also feeling the presence of God among people in general. (A friar being a servant of the community.)
So again, much was accomplished despite not everyone being there. (However, I think more were there than were present yesterday.) There is to be another such meeting tomorrow I believe, and I hope to attend that one as well, as I think Romeo shall be there. As he himself said, the more chemistry he and I develop, the better off we will be.
Didn't start reading the next scene yet tonight, as per my pattern...but I made up for it be attending the extra rehearsal.